Beautiful memories remain from the first time I stayed at the Fullerton in Singapore, on the marina at the ritzy end of town. It was opulent, housed in the former GPO, and with very Singapore service - efficient, polite and friendly. Nothing was ever any trouble and so it became our go to whenever we were visiting family, to stop a few nights at the Fullerton for a bit of luxury. It was, and remains,a grand old dame of a hotel.
The Fullerton Sydney at 1 Martin Place in the heart of the CBD is similarly a grand old dame, and is also the former GPO. The property under former management of the Westin group was always a great spot for a work trip, and because of the location, we gave it a go for a weekend of leisure. With an option for either Tower or Heritage rooms, there is a choice of style of accommodations. We booked Heritage for 2 nights to appreciate the beautiful bones of the building.
Fullerton have always been very specific about the kind of hotel they run and with impeccable attention to detail. This hotel however, missed a few small marks for us which, while not earth shattering, were a little disappointing. Rooms are large and spacious, as you would expect in a building of this age. And while I guess someone has to, sleeping too close to the clock in Martin Place is not as pleasant as one might think. We inquired on departure about the occupancy and were disappointed to know it was only at 65% and yet we were still allocated a room in very close proximity to the clock.
The other challenge was the apparent tiredness of the old dame herself. Walls have a few cracks, glass shelves in the bathroom are watermarked, and close inspection showed a little lack of attention to detail in the carpets and elsewhere. Finally, the in-room tablet wasn't very user friendly and hadn't had a good wipe over so we gave it a quick going over and good as gold. It is these tiny little things, added up, that make us question that very Singaporean style of attention and the price of the stay.
The rest of the visit was great - attentive staff, a delightfully cheeky concierge, some good dining options and those very comfortable beds. The hotel is in an ideal location and accessible to every corner of the CBD on foot. Atkinson bathroom amenities, bluetooth speakers, wireless hi speed internet , Nespresso machine for an early morning coffee and TWG teas all make for a pleasant experience as does a drink in the bar and a lounge in a hot pink or bright chair at The Place, where we enjoyed breakfast. A quick word of advice, don't drink the coffee at breakfast! Have a Nespresso in your room or walk 20 metres for a decent one. It was ghastly.
The grand old dame, similarly with Singapore, will always be grand, but this one is just starting to show a few minor blemishes which should be taken care of. A little bit of work does a lady no harm!
The Fullerton is at 1 Martin Place, Sydney
Rooms start from $350 per night.